Are DUI Checkpoints Legal in Georgia?
DUI checkpoints are also known as roadblocks or mobile checkpoints. They are police stops that are not related to any suspicion. In other words, police do not have to observe you driving badly or committing an infraction to stop you. If the officer suspects you are driving under the influence of alcohol, he or she may ask you to take a breath test.
DUI checkpoints are controversial because police do not need probable cause to pull over a driver.
Rules for DUI Checkpoints in Georgia
Police must follow certain guidelines over the setting up of roadblocks to stop drivers:
- A roadblock must not be set up in a random location. It should be an area where there is a legitimate public safety concern.
- Checkpoints should be part of an ongoing attempt to enforce drunk driving laws
- The roadblock must be set up following predetermined guidelines;
- Police must post a warning of the checkpoint before motorists encounter it;
- If medical tests like a blood or urine test are carried out at the roadblock, police must provide fast and efficient transportation to the testing site.
- If a change is to be made to the roadblock, must be specifically documented in advance to the checkpoint.
- Qualified law enforcement officers must carry out tests at the roadside.
Drivers who were arrested at sobriety checkpoints in Georgia have challenged the police in the courts over improper procedures.
For instance, in the 2004 case of State v. Morgan, the courts ruled a DUI checkpoint approved for one date could not be “extended” by officers to the next day. The Georgia Court of Appeals ruled a written DUI checkpoint document controlled when the checkpoint was set up.
If you were arrested at a DUI checkpoint in Georgia, you should talk to an experienced Newnan DUI attorney about your rights. Call us at 414-913-1529.